Try More Stuff Than the Other Guy

Here’s Tom Peters on one of my favorite topics (randomness) from the new book The Drunkard’s Walk: How Randomness Rules our Lives:

"If I had said ‘yes’ to all the projects I turned down and ‘no’ to all the ones I took, it would have worked out about the same."—David Picker, movie studio exec

"Mathematical analysis of firings in all major sports has shown that those firings had, on average, no effect on team performance."

And his sum-up:

NB2: If Randomness Rules then your only defense is the so-called "law of large numbers"—that is, success follows from tryin’ enough stuff so that the odds of doin’ something right tilt your way; in my speeches I declare that the only thing I’ve truly learned "for sure" in the last 40 years is "Try more stuff than the other guy"—there is no poetic license here, I mean it.

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